iPhone status indicator: what do the orange and green dots mean?
In 2020 Apple rolled out the iPhone operating system iOS 14. This brought various new features to the company's compatible smartphones. Among them were also functions that have the increased protection of privacy in mind. And that brings us to the question: What do the orange and green dots in the status display of the Apple iPhone mean? Why is there sometimes an orange or green dot in the top right corner above the cell coverage indicator? Here is the answer!
The orange dot on the iPhone status indicator
The dot in orange on the iPhone status bar is intended to provide more privacy and data protection under iOS – along with other functions. Because it indicates that the microphone is being used. Microphone access is indicated by the orange circle or dot icon when, for example, making a call or using Siri. Voice chats via Discord or the recording of WhatsApp voice messages also ensure that the notification symbol is displayed.
This should ensure more data protection when apps are used that actually do not require microphone access. If the orange dot appears in the iPhone status display when using them, then you know that something is wrong. A game, a writing program, a drawing app or other should not access the microphone unless you are currently using the dictation function or similar.
The green dot on the iPhone status indicator
This note on the iPhone display is also intended to indicate that different input devices are currently being used. The green dot on the iPhone status bar indicates that the camera and microphone are in use. Regardless of whether it is a camera app, the photo function of a social media app such as TikTok, AR applications or other software: if it accesses the camera (and the microphone), then iOS shows this with a green dot.
You should be suspicious if the notification symbol appears above the display for cell phone reception without the camera being consciously used. Some software then accesses the recording device of the iPhone. However, this is only to be expected as an exception. As a rule, Apple's proprietary system of iPhone and iOS is extremely secure. You hardly have to worry about spy software.
Tip: Check past access from Control Center
If you recently saw that one of the colored dots was activated and wonder which app was responsible, you can use Control Center to determine who the culprit was.
Swipe down from the top right corner to open the control center. In the top line you will now find the orange or green dot and to the right of it the name of the app that performed this access.
In this way, even non-professionals can understand which app is "listening" or used the camera access.